The reason for this blog is to examine the ways in which businesses are effected by fraud and how the police deal with it.
This is a personal account as we were the victims of fraud by someone called Simon Osbourne in Swindon. His case was reported in Swindon Advertiser and I have quoted some of it below
“Simon Osborne, of Reid Piece, Purton, cheated businesses out of the cash by ordering goods he had no intention of paying for, leaving the other companies out of pocket.
And the 51-year-old, who was jailed for three years and four months, also hired a mechanical digger which he didn’t pay for and then failed to return.
At a hearing under Proceeds of Crime Act this week, a judge was told he had benefitted from crime to the tune of £543,808.37.
In late 2007 and early 2008 he ordered a consignment of toys from one company and a log splitter worth more than £2,000 from another; none of which he paid for.
He then got more than £26,000 worth of slate as well as other goods worth more than £57,000 from another firm.
In August 2008 he hired a three-ton digger from HSS Hire, but didn’t pay the £6,721 fees and did not return the machinery, which was worth about £35,000
The court heard that Osborne had a long history of offending including theft and fraud and last received a jail term in 2004.
At the time of jailing him, Judge Field said: “You are a professional fraudster and you are a very dishonest man.”
We were one of the dozens of companies who had goods stolen by Simon Osbourne and the effect was devastating.
In addition to the physical loss of stock and money there is a huge impact in terms of the time and money needed to get the police to take any action.
The newspaper article does not give any indication as to how hard it was to get the police to prosecute Simon Osbourne for fraud. As soon as the police hear that a company has been de-frauded they lose interest.
Why is it ok to steal from a business? Why do the CPS not want to prosecute fraudsters? Simon Osbourne stole from lots of different companies, and it appears he already had a track record of fraud.
He was jailed in 2004 and he was jailed in 2012 so when companies started ringing the police about having goods stolen from them by Simon Osbourne you would have thought they would have sprung in to action.
Not a chance! We were one of the last to be defrauded by Simon Osbourne and there were already several companies trying to get him prosecuted for theft. If the police had acted more swiftly we would not have lost our money.
So what do you think is the solution? Should it be easier to prosecute people for fraud? How do we prevent people from stealing from companies if the police are so reluctant to prosecute. I would love to hear people’s views.
I leave you with one piece of advice. Don’t hire Simon Osbourne or deal with anyone called Simon Osbourne from Swindon! It appears he only has one way of earning money so be careful